Directives from the Ministry of Truth, February 6-March 7, 2012
The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.
Click the directive title to read the original Chinese.
Translation by Deng Bolun.
Do not report on Cambridge University’s acceptance of a £3.7 million donation from China.
During the Two Sessions, do not conduct interviews concerning or report on any sudden incidents. Do not hype the Wang Lijun incident. Do not cast doubt on medical reform, the construction of guaranteed housing, food safety or other problems. Handle carefully: the disfigurement of the Anhui girl, the Henan policeman’s harakiri, the Baoding Hebei case and the case of Wu Ying in Zhejiang. No not report on petitioners. Increase the intensity of Lei Feng propaganda.
Central Propaganda Department: Do not hype CPPCC members’ suggestions for protecting freedom of speech. Promote dialogue and suggestions concerning media legislation. Do not hype the Wang Lijun incident. As for the so-called “Two Sessions are an amusement park,” “Two Sessions gourmet food” and topics about the clothing of Two Sessions representatives, do not hype!
Central Propaganda Department: Do not hype the following topics: the Chen Guangcheng incident, negative news on the Yunnan drought, public spending on Maotai liquor, legislation on smoking ban, disturbances from the Lei Feng microblog, media legislation or disappeared people from Hoh Xil. Prohibit references of the Two Sessions as entertainment or that mock them. Carry out well Xinhua New Agency’s work on recirculating the article on America’s human rights record.
Central Propaganda Department: Notice on news reporting during the Two Sessions: 1) Do not report on topics concerned with sudden incidents, individual petition cases or cases drawing popular interest. 2) Do not report on the chief executive election in Hong Kong. Do not hype it. Do not comment on it. Any news of it that must be reported needs to be approved by the Office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs. 3) Do not hype medical reform, guaranteed housing, or food safety problems in mid-March.